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Barbian Waterfalls / Cascate di Barbiano

Barbian waterfalls. The Ganderbach springs below the Rittner Horn, is about 6 km long and flows into the Eisack at Kollmann. In its course, it overcomes around 1,500 meters in altitude and also cascades over some rock steps.

Barbian Waterfall
Barbian Waterfall

The lowest and at the same time the highest of these waterfalls measures an impressive 85 meters. Especially in spring, when the Ganderbach river carries a lot of water after the snowmelt, it offers a spectacular and widely visible spectacle. Not for nothing are the Barbian waterfalls among the most famous in South Tyrol!

The waterfalls can be reached in a not too difficult and family-friendly hike.

Sure-footedness and sturdy footwear are required, though. The starting point is Barbian, the idyllic holiday resort on the sunny slope above the Eisack valley. Barbian is especially famous for its leaning church tower, which is said to be even more slanted than the legendary Campanile in Pisa. By the way, Sigmund Freud, Christan Morgenstern or the painter Franz von Defregger spent their summer retreat in the district of Bad Dreikirchen with its three Gothic chapels built together. This is commemorated by the old inn, built already in 1315, and especially by the distinctive Pension Briol, which was built in 1928 as a total work of art in the Bauhaus style, and is still preserved unchanged in its original state today.

From the village center of Barbian, follow the signs 'To the waterfall' first along the village street and then on a well-maintained path over meadows and past neat farms. A magnificent view opens up across the Eisack valley to the Sciliar massif. Finally, the path leads into the forest and between large boulders to the Lower Waterfall, which is reached after about 35 minutes of walking.

An impressive sight is here, when the masses of water plunge over the black quartz porphyry rocks - the result of volcanic activity about 280 million years ago - roaring into the depths and enveloping the surroundings in cool spray mist. To get to the Upper Waterfall from here, continue on a narrower and also steeper trail, which is secured with wire ropes in some sections. This second, 45-meter-high cascade is reached after another 40 minutes. For the way back to Barbian, do not take the same path, but a trail a little to the north through the forest. All in all, the walking time for this adventurous hike is about 2.5 hours.

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